Maintaining your New Home
Just because your house is new, doesn’t mean it’s free from maintenance. Truthfully, the first year will require a lot of things that might not be required as often in the future.
Dirt settling around your foundation is a perfect example. It’s likely you will experience this from the backfill that was done. While this should be expected, it can vary depending on the type of soil, how much backfill was needed, and the weather conditions after your home are built. Be prepared to do some infilling along the way.
Checking for water under your sinks. Even a good plumbing job isn’t always perfect. Occasionally, plumbing connections can develop some gaps in the seals not seen in testing. It is a good practice with new construction to check under your sinks during the first several months of living in your home so major issues or damage can be avoided.
Foundation vents are designed to help control the airflow and moisture in your crawl space. Some vents are automatic, and others require manual operation – regardless of which, it is important to make you inspect them yearly and ensure they are open during the spring and summer months and closed during the fall and winter months.
Check and replace your HVAC air filters. Filters are critical to your HVAC systems operation and prevent dust and debris from slowing things down. No matter how clean your new home is, there will be more dust and debris in the first 12 months than normal make sure you change them monthly in year 1. After that, you will be able to monitor them just as needed.
Caulk will dry and shrink causing some separation over time. It’s important to check and maintain as needed. Critical areas are windows and doors which can cause air leaks and reduced efficiency with your home.
Internally, you’ll want to check caulk in your bathrooms around sinks, countertops, showers, and tubs. Also, any molding you have like door casings, window trim, base molding, etc. will show some gaps over time as well. While these can be unsightly, they should be expected and not a sign of poor craftsmanship.
Clean your gutters and downspouts. Gutters help direct water away from your home as another way to keep your home moisture-free. Your New Home can’t prevent this possibility and needs to be checked at least once a year – especially if you have a lot of trees around your home. This also includes possibly extending your downspout as needed once you see where the water goes.
Use a programmable thermostat to help heat and cool your home as efficiently as possible. If your builder does not install one, it would be a benefit to purchase and install once you move into your New Home.